SMEs: Choosing a 4.0 CMMS to Enter The Industry Of The Future

Tight deadlines, cost savings, industrial maintenance optimization… How can SMEs meet all these requirements while enhancing their productivity and remaining viable at the same time?

Industrial maintenance guarantees that a company’s assets, production and customer satisfaction are durable. Each structure has very specific issues and SMEs are not spared (few employees, deadlines to be met, high-quality image to maintain…): that is why, just like major companies, they have to acquire a CMMS software (computerized maintenance management system). Choosing the right solution can seem quite complicated, but small and medium-sized companies have to ask themselves the good questions to find the tool that will suit them and allow them to gain credibility on the industry 4.0 market.

What challenges are SMEs facing?

For many reasons, the SMEs’ situation is rather unique. Deploying a CMMS in a plant allows it to achieve major cost savings, both financially and humanely. These structures are working in real time and need for the decision-making process to be quick and fluid. They of course don’t have the same means as large industrial companies and should therefore make the right choice from the very beginning by implementing reliable and intuitive CMMS tools that bring a real added value. These software have to allow them to limit and ideally to eliminate unplanned downtime, to help the teams and different services communicate efficiently towards a smooth production process and in the end to save money.

A lot of companies still manage their maintenance in an outdated way, on paper or Excel files. These solutions can seem easy and reliable, but in reality they lead to major losses of information and slow down the whole activity of the maintenance department. We are explaining to you how choosing the right CMMS can perfectly meet SMEs’ needs by enhancing their assets lifetime and by limiting unnecessary spendings.

A successful industrial maintenance leads to an enhanced productivity and as these companies don’t usually have enough funds to outsource activities (only 20% of the whole maintenance market’s needs are outsourced), they don’t have another choice but to opt for the tool that will help them save time and energy.

Choosing a CMMS solution can be difficult

CMMS often means completely outdated conventional software. Maintenance solutions and ERP that don’t meet today’s SMEs needs can still be found on the market. There are multiple reasons for that: first of all these tools are way too expensive (between 10,000 and 40,000 dollars for the initial investment), without taking into account the additional expenses for the support, the new features and updates, the trainings, the options, the deployment itself, the data importation etc. It goes without saying that it is a burden for a medium-sized company.

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Second of all, these software use a lot of resources: it needs for an employee to take care of it full time in order to deploy such a tool and to integrate it into the maintenance teams’ everyday lives. The designated employee or team has to work on it all day long on a long period of time as these conventional CMMS’ screens are not intuitive, heavy and way too off-putting. It then takes the team in charge several weeks, or even months, to register all the equipment in the tool and to enter all the necessary information. Deployments therefore are really time-consuming for a quite qualified result as maintenance technicians are not very receptive to these old-fashioned tools.

The approach to industrial maintenance has to be revolutionized

SMEs often struggle to clearly identify precise needs and therefore decide to implement specifications, hoping that it will help them to choose the perfect CMMS. They end up with dozens of criteria to follow, trying to find the best solution that will meet all the requirements. Mobility Work, a mobile and community-based CMMS application, reverses the trend: it makes intuitive and next-gen tools available in order to revolutionize industrial maintenance. It is agile and based on the on-field customers’ feedbacks in order to develop new features. Such solutions are currently thriving on the market and giving SMEs the possibility, just like Mobility Work does, to keep control of their CMMS by sending their comments and feedbacks through the online support, directly available in the application. It is crucial that companies have a decision-making power and stop being at the mercy of conventional CMMS.

Taking the example of Mobility Work, the tool allows users to find their place in a very large community of maintenance individuals who share good practices, opinions about providers and suppliers and who can help each other whenever needed (equipment or spare parts).

Promising next-gen CMMS solutions

The maintenance sector is deeply changing and has a bright future. Mobile tools ease maintenance technicians’ and managers’ daily lives as they become more and more efficient: they just go from one machine to the other, their smartphone in their hand, and can quickly access the work history, the calendar and the maintenance plans in just a few seconds.

Solutions in SaaS such as Mobility Work, which hosts users’ data in the Cloud in the safest way possible, can be implemented and used after just a couple of days as no previous training is required. Technicians quickly get along with their new application and discover the maintenance 4.0 thanks to it: they upload all the existing data thanks to the import frame, they scan their equipment’s QR Codes or NFC chips in order to access all the information they need in real-time, they use the voice function to dictate to their phones anything they want to save, they upload documents, videos or pictures easily, they access tables and graphs showing the several potential issues on the production line...

In a word, the teams who decide to install next-gen software on their smartphones, tablets or desktops become more efficient, quick and productive. These tools are developed exactly like all the other apps we are using in our daily personal lives and all the social network in order to put communication, mutual aid and the exchange of information at the heart of any activity.

What about the industry of the future?

The industry of the future, thanks to innovative and user-friendly CMMS, offers a whole range of possibilities and revolutionizes industrial maintenance. This new approach of industry is based on data collection in the maintenance management software: they are gathered and analyzed in order to generate graphs and show the potential failures of the plant. Thanks to Mobility Work, users have access to an analytic tool which shows all the equipment data. Using the intervention and failures history, they are able to understand how machines work in order to anticipate failures and progressively annihilate downtime. Mobility Work makes predictive maintenance routines accessible.

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Such a feature is essential for small and medium-sized companies, who are facing some major challenges: they have to save money while understanding how the tool works and ensuring an optimized assets industrial maintenance in order to maintain them in the best way possible. These small and medium companies absolutely have to take into account maintenance and CMMS, as it allows them to strictly meet the deadlines their customers set. To make sure they have a positive image, they have to deliver goods on time and therefore need to have an easy-to-use, innovative tool at their disposal, that is far from the non intuitive software they have been used to.

Thanks to community-based next-gen solutions like Mobility Work, SMEs benefit from the breadth of a whole community and from the permanent exchange of information between companies helping each other and sharing good practices. The industry of the future is based on mastering your expenses and your communication, two major competitive advantages allowed by next-gen CMMS solutions.